How Much Money Can You Get From Getting Hit By A Car As A Pedestrian In Michigan?
Auto accidents involving pedestrians often result in severe injuries and significant damages. Thankfully, victims have options allowing them to seek compensation for their losses, including the psychological suffering a devastating accident can cause. How much money you receive depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries and the exact value of your losses. With the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, you have a better chance of adequately valuing your claim and receiving fair compensation.
What Creates the Value of a Settlement?
Compensatory damages is the legal term used to describe the losses you suffered due to the driver’s negligence. The law further divides these losses into economic and non-economic damages. To know the value of your claim, you must identify and provide evidence to support all the available compensatory damages in your case.
Economic damages include losses with an apparent monetary amount attached to them. So, for example, you could recover:
- Loss of current and future wages. If your injuries made it impossible for you to work, you could claim the wages you already lost and any future lost wages, including the loss of earning capacity, should your injuries result in a permanent disability.
- Cost of medical care. Medical bills can pile up quickly from severe injuries. You can claim the cost of emergency medical services, ambulance expenses, medications, surgeries, hospital stays, doctor visits, use of medical devices, and ongoing care, such as rehabilitation or future doctor visits.
- Damaged property. As a pedestrian, you would not have a damaged vehicle to claim, but you may still have damaged property. For example, if a laptop, cell phone, or other valuable asset was damaged, you could request compensation to repair or replace it.
- Out-of-pocket losses. Anything you paid for as a direct result of the accident or your injuries is potentially recoverable. Examples might include transportation to medical visits or childcare expenses if you were the childcare provider. In addition, if you needed to make structural changes to your home to accommodate your injuries, you could include those.
A significant advantage of hiring a personal injury attorney is they will identify these losses and gather the evidence needed to support them, a task that could be tedious and overwhelming for someone recovering from severe injuries.
Non-economic losses are damages with personal rather than inherent monetary value. Examples may include:
- The emotional and physical pain and suffering endured
- Loss of the ability to enjoy life in the same way you once did
- The distress caused by anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder
- The mental anguish that comes with disability or disfigurement
With economic damages, you can show value using medical bills, pay stubs, tax returns, and other physical receipts. However, assigning monetary amounts to non-economic damages is more complex. For example, your attorney may use the multiplier method. This requires calculating medical expenses and multiplying that total by a number between 1.5 and 5. More substantial injuries would require a greater multiplier.
Do Pedestrians Have Access to No-Fault Insurance Coverage?
As the plaintiff in a personal injury case, you are responsible for the burden of proof. You must provide evidence to support the claim that the driver’s negligence caused your accident and injuries. However, in a no-fault auto insurance state, you may be able to collect compensation without proving liability.
Michigan is a no-fault state. Drivers who operate a vehicle must carry personal injury protection insurance. PIP coverage allows them to bypass the fault system and file a claim for damages with their own insurance policy. However, the policyholder is not the only person with access to coverage. Michigan PIP insurance covers any family member living with the policyholder, any motorcyclist injured during the accident, and any passenger or pedestrian without their own no-fault policy.
PIP insurance covers all necessary medical care, up to 85% of income lost, and $20 per day for replacement services, such as childcare or in-home help. One downside to PIP protection is that it is not always sufficient to cover your losses, and sometimes the responsible driver does not have PIP if the vehicle is licensed in another state. Should your injuries meet the state-mandated threshold for serious injury, you can bypass the no-fault systems and file a lawsuit with the court.
Can a Pedestrian Be Partially Liable?
Pedestrians are responsible for following the road laws that specifically apply to them. For example, they cannot cross the road without a crosswalk and must remain on the sidewalk while waiting for the “walk” signal. Any violation of pedestrian road rules could render you either all or partially responsible for your injuries. When you file a claim or lawsuit, a typical response from the defense is to shift blame all or a portion of the responsibility to the plaintiff.
Michigan’s Modified Comparative Negligence Rule
If you are partially responsible for the accident, it can affect your ability to recover compensation. Michigan applies the modified comparative negligence rule for personal injury cases involving shared fault. Comparative negligence imposes a deduction of a percentage of the total damages equal to your percentage of fault. For example, in a pure comparative negligence state, you could still recover damages if you were 99% at fault, meaning you would only lose the opportunity for compensation if you were entirely at fault. In a modified comparative negligence state, you cannot be more at fault than the driver. Therefore, your percentage of the fault must be less than 51%.
For example, if a Michigan civil court awards you $30,000 in damages and finds you 10% at fault for the accident, you can still recover $27,000. That is 10% less than the total award. However, if the court values the damages at $30,000 and finds you 51% at fault, you would not be able to recover anything. The comparative negligence rule can also apply less formally during the settlement process. If you have questions about your role in the accident, a personal injury attorney can help you understand how it may affect your case.
How Can a Michigan Personal Injury Lawyer Help You Build Your Case?
Auto accident cases involving pedestrians can be complex. If you have questions about your right to compensation and how to recover your losses, a personal injury lawyer can help you. Auto accident cases of varying types make up the vast majority of civil lawsuits, making experienced personal injury attorneys experts in these cases. They understand the laws that govern auto accidents and how victims can access the funding they need to rebuild their lives. You will see the benefits immediately if you decide to hire an attorney to handle your case. They handle all the paperwork, talk to the insurance company, investigate your accident, collect evidence to support your claims, provide legal advice and resources, and ensure no one takes advantage of you or violates your rights.
At Mike Morse Law Firm, our team of expert legal professionals dedicated their knowledge and time to fighting for victims of auto accidents. We know the burden these cases can have on the injured and their families. That is why we commit to providing diligent representation. We keep our caseload low to ensure you have our full attention. Contact Mike Morse Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via call or text at (855) MIKE-WINS. Get the information you need without any obligation.